Even though some headlines were dominated by Brazilian economic news, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to the U.S. and his meeting with President Obama over the weekend also dealt with the ethanol industry. The big biofuel news from Silva's visit was a call to end U.S. tariffs on his country's ethanol exports. Silva told an investor forum on Monday that he spoke with President Bush about this many times and will do so with Obama as well. Considering Obama's Agriculture Secretary's strong support for American corn ethanol, and Obama's own stated support for ethanol/corn subsidies, it's no surprise that Silva's pleas are not having an immediate effect.

According to the AP, Silva told the investors that, "One thing that leaves me perplexed, is in the same world where we invest in environmental policy capable of avoiding global warming ... many countries still don't place any tariff on polluting fuels while they place absurd tariffs on ethanol."

[Source: AP]
White House Photo/Pete Souza